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PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LINCOLN, STATE OF NEVADA

May 6, 2013

LINCOLN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Commission Chambers
Lincoln County Courthouse
181 Main Street
Pioche, NV 89043

 

Commissioners

Adam Katschke
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Mathews
Phil Donohue
Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair

#1-CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL/INVOCATION/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

Chairman Ed Higbee called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.

PRESENT:

 

 

Adam Katschke (left the meeting at 3:26 p.m.)
Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair
Paul Mathews
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Donohue

Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
Daniel Hooge, District Attorney

 

There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 4-30-13. The Invocation was offered by Kevin and Paul M. led the Pledge of Allegiance.

#2-PUBLIC COMMENT

Ed called for public comment. None offered.

CONSENT AGENDA

#3 Approve/Deny minutes of the April 13 and April 25 meetings.

#4 Approve/Deny appointment of Ashley Moore to the Lincoln County Regional Transportation Commission.

#5 Approve/Deny original and renewal business licenses with staff recommendations (an itemized list of business licenses is available for public review in the Building Department prior to the meeting). Kevin made a motion to approve the consent agenda; seconded by Paul M. All voted in favor.

#6-VOUCHERS

Recorder/Auditor Leslie Boucher presented the vouchers and cash balance report. General County has a balance of $654,720.52 with estimated expenditures being $192,869.29. General County will have a balance of $461,851.23. Transportation has a cash balance of $59,402.78 with estimated expenditures being $4,675.36. Transportation will have a balance of $54,727.42. Senior Nutrition has a balance of $70,878.24 with estimated expenditures being $13,394.26. Senior Nutrition will have a balance of $57,483.98. Detention Center has a cash balance of $184,072.52 with estimated expenditures being $93,367.81. Detention Center will have a cash balance of $90,704.71. Solid Waste has a cash balance of $106,670.63 with estimated expenditures being $23,090.65. Solid Waste will have a balance of $83,579.98. Solid Waste owes LC Water Special Projects, Fund 87, $27,484.15. Airport has a balance of $3,252.67 with no expenditures. Planning has a balance of $16,854.16 with estimated expenditures being $7,166.79. Planning will have a balance of $9,687.37. Leslie advised that there is a voucher for Ronda; the minutes state that she is paying $30 but the invoice is for $43.14. The Board must decide which they will pay. Kevin made a motion to approve the vouchers as presented with the exception of the LCTS, Mountain Merc, and Meadow Valley Pharmacy vouchers; seconded by Paul D. All voted in favor. Paul M. made a motion to approve the Mountain Merc vouchers; seconded by Adam. Kevin disclosed he is part owner of the business and abstained from the vote. Motion carried. Kevin made a motion to approve the vouchers for MV Pharmacy; seconded by Paul M. Adam abstained and disclosed that he is an owner of MV Pharmacy. Motion carried. Kevin made a motion to approve the vouchers for LCTS; seconded by Paul M. Paul D. abstained as he is an employee of LCTS. Motion carried.

#7-OFFICER/DEPARTMENT HEAD REPORTS

DISTRICT ATTORNEY Daniel Hooge stated there are a couple of legislative bills that will be of interest to the Board, including changes to the open meeting law. SB66 will allow the county to share equipment with other local entities. TREASURER Shawn Frehner advised she is doing her monthly report for her receipts. $1,258,156.29 was receipted in the month of April. Shawn presented the landfill report to the Board as well;
$19,977.29 were receipted. Landfill statements were mailed a couple of weeks ago. One of the things that happened during batch invoicing was that the due date wasn’t changed. All the invoices went out showing that it was due on the date it was printed; that’s not the case, there is one year to pay it. Since then, Shawn has manually changed the date on every invoice. There were a couple of minor changes on the landfill waiver
forms. The letterhead on the waiver was originally the Clerk’s Office but it has been changed to reflect the Treasurer’s information. On the regular waiver a box for “Rental Property” was added. Shawn has been
reviewing the travel advance forms. There is a policy in place governing the travel advances, but the form requires a signature by the supervisor, the employee, and two elected officials. Shawn asked what the reason is that we are having elected officials sign the advance. No one is certain. The travel advance is reviewed and audited by the Treasurer’s Office and the Recorder/Auditor’s Office. Shawn doesn’t feel all of the signatures are necessary. The original policy was put in place by the county manager at the time, Doug Carriger. The original intent was to accomplish a level of control. Shawn stated that if we are going to have elected officials sign there should be a purpose. When the supervisor signs it that indicates that they are aware of the expense and how much money is left in their budget. Shawn will bring this issue forward at the next Commission meeting. Paul D. stated he is more comfortable with some sort of check and balance system in place for the Commissioners. At this time, the person signing it isn’t doing any checking, they’re simply signing it. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR Rick Stever advised that vandalism has been discovered in Panaca on the pod trailer. Someone has been trying to cut the padlocks on the trailer with a hacksaw. Rick doesn’t have anywhere secure to put the trailer and this is something that needs to be considered in the future. This trailer holds supplies that are not of any use to the general public but there are no medications or drugs in there. Paul M. suggested that the trailer be parked in the blue building at the fairground, then moved during events. Paul D. stated that heating has been installed in this building so that it can be used during the winter; it might be a pain to have to take the trailer in and out every time the building is in use. There is a Mass Care Summit in Fallon at the end of this month; Rick will attend. Rick advised that a tour of the test site is being organized if the Board members are interested in attending. MULTI SPECIES HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN COORDINATOR Ronda advised that they’ve planted over 1,200 willows, above and below Stein is complete.

#8-ECHO CANYON CAMPGROUND PROJECT

Paul M. made a motion to approve and sign Change Order #2 for a service and cost increase to the contract with Sunrise Engineering for the Echo Canyon Campground Project (the original scope of work
is being expanded and the additional duties will increase the contract by $152,900); seconded by Adam. Kevin disclosed that one of the principal engineers for Sunrise is his son; he abstained. Motion carried.

#9-CALIENTE POOL & PARK COMPLEX

The majority of this is being covered by a check the City received from the insurance company. The additional work will be covered by outside funding, not SNPLMA funding. There is an agreement between Jim Wilkin and the City for equipment. This results in a decrease in costs. Paul M. made a motion to approve and sign Change Order #2 for a time and cost increase to the contract with Jim Wilkin Trucking for the Caliente Pool & Park Complex Phase II project (the time extension is for an additional 36 days and the cost increase is $203,085.03 which includes funding from another source); seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#10-LINCOLN COUNTY ADDRESSING SYSTEM

This is a time extension only. Kevin made a motion to approve and sign Change Order #1 to extend the time for Core Geo Data’s contract to June 30, 2013 for the Lincoln County Addressing System; seconded by Paul D. All voted in favor.

#11-HIGHWAY COMMISSION

This item was handled under separate agenda.

#12-LINCOLN COUNTY FIRE DISTRICT

This item was handled under separate agenda.

#13-CALIENTE YOUTH CENTER BRIDGE

Kevin advised that this letter is the same as the one that was sent with the exception of a date change. Kevin made a motion to approve the letter to the Department of Public Safety reaffirming the letter sent on 10- 11-11 concerning the bridge project located at the Caliente Youth Center; seconded by Paul M. All voted in favor.

#14-FY 2013-2014 BUDGET/TAX RATE

Treasurer Shawn Frehner presented the proposed budgets and tax rates for FY 2013-2014. This was the time and place set for public hearing. The tax rates are the same with the exception of the requested Alamo Town increase of .0128. Ed asked if there was any comment from the public on this issue. No one responded. No action taken.

#15-SHERIFF’S RACK SPACE

Sheriff Kerry Lee advised that we are currently leasing two rack spaces but the new equipment is smaller and he hopes to be able to reduce to one. Adam made a motion to approve the intrastate interlocal agreement between NV Department of Administration and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for radio rack space on Highland Peak in the amount of $2,033 per rack; seconded by Paul M. All voted in favor.

#16-LC WATER DISTRICT/LC ASSIGNMENT ASSUMPTION AGREEMENT

Wade Poulsen, LC Water District Manager, presented the agreement. The amendment was approved at the last water district meeting to change the amount that the county will receive on the sales of water from county applications. This payment is on the net proceeds, not the gross. Adam has had several people approach him and they don’t feel that the county gets enough money from the water district as it is. This amendment will decrease it to about half. Wade stated that people need to realize this is only when water is sold; it isn’t on an ongoing basis and occurs only when certain water applications are developed. Wade stated this money isn’t realized until the water applications are sold and developed. LCWD is responsible for developing water but they have to look to their budgets as well. Any business that gives away 35% of their proceeds can run out of cash very quickly. This amendment will reduce the amount that goes to the county from 35% to 20%. None of this money would go to the general fund in the county; they would be split as outlined in existing ordinance. Bevan Lister stated that he doesn’t envy the Board members’ position. Bevan suggested that the Board members’ position as county commissioners is diametrically opposed to the vote they took as LCWD members. Bevan feels that the Board members would have to be amoral bi-polar schizophrenic to live with their vote as what the water district does is diametrically opposed to the interests of the people of the county. Bevan challenged the water district to show him the benefit the people have received from water sales over the last ten years. For the county to diminish its interest in those water rights is a violation of the interests of the people of the county. LCWD was organized to give quasi-legitimacy to the teaming agreement with Vidler. The legislative intent was to be the single water utility service in the county. As of now, LCWD doesn’t service water to anyone in the county. The purpose of the Commissioners is to represent Bevan and the interests of other residents in the county. Our system of government is that we elect good men of high moral standards to represent the people and protect the peoples’ interests. For over ten years the county has sat on over 90,000 acres of land designated for Congressional disposal as well as a pile of water rights. To this point, none of it has been developed. Bevan implored the Board to look to the future of the county, to look for opportunities for
development. As long as the LCWD board is tied in an illegitimate relationship with Vidler Water, Bevan can’t support the idea of taking part of his interest and giving it to them. Bevan commented that the Commissioners sit in direct conflict with themselves as members of the LCWD. Bevan stated in the accounting principles of life and business, there’s no such thing as a pure profit sharing arrangement, you also share the expenses. Half of all of the money spent in developing and administering the water rights sales is Bevan’s money, or public funds. None of the laws regarding public funding have been looked at, followed, or in any way adhered to. Bevan is certain the laws will never be applied nor will there be repercussions. Bevan said he could never sit on that side of the desk as he wouldn’t put his neck on the line for criminal action because he failed to follow the laws. Paul M. stated he wasn’t here when the LCWD was created but he’s spent the last six years sifting through the information related to it. Paul M. said they’ve done what they can with the LCWD to change its emphasis into developing the 90,000 acres and to develop the county the best they can. Paul M. is working hard to sit on both boards and represent the people to their benefit. Paul M. advised they have tried very, very hard to get the 90,000 acres released. Kevin made a motion to approve the amendment to the Assignment and Assumption Agreement dated March 1, 2004 between the Lincoln County Water District and Lincoln County; seconded by Paul D. All voted in favor.

#17-RURAL DESERT SOUTHWEST BROWNFIELDS COALITION

Joni Eastley, Nye County Assistant County Manager, and Brian Loffman made a presentation concerning the Rural Desert Southwest Brownfields Coalition (RDSBC). Brian offered an outline about the history and grant
funds received for the RDSBC. This is a revolving loan fund program. The money is made available and allows entities to take out a very low interest loan. Brian outlined the process for borrowing the funds, starting with the point of contact for each county. Cory Lytle is the point of contact for Lincoln County. No action was taken on this item as it was informational only.

#18-PIOCHE TOWN EMPLOYEE

Town Manager Nathan Adams reviewed the history of Pioche Public Utilities/Pioche Town employee positions. When Nathan was made manager his position was vacated and has never been rehired. Paul M. made a motion to approve the hiring of Tom Maurine by the Pioche Town Board for Pioche Class I Maintenance Worker position; seconded by Kevin. Paul D. stated that this isn’t directly attached to names and asked how many applications were received. Over 20. Some of the applications were younger, talented individuals who would work for a longer period of time; Paul D. stated he doesn’t understand the thinking behind hiring the person they chose. Daniel advised that the Board can’t discuss this; we shouldn’t get into character discussion. Nathan stated he tried to call Paul D. to be on the interview committee but he was out of town. Adam asked why two town board members were against the hiring. Nathan responded that those two felt the company should continue with the current level of personnel. Rather than three people at 1039 this year they will hire a full time person. Nathan stated that he needs someone that can shut water mains off and control water pressure and this will allow for a person to have that knowledge when Nathan is gone. Paul D. is opposed. Motion carried.

#19-PIOCHE PUBLIC UTILITIES

Paul M. made a motion to approve the increase of the main line adder rate by 3% on the first of June every year for three years; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#20-CONTRACT BETWEEN LC ASSESSOR AND DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Paul M. made a motion to approve and sign the interlocal contract between Department of Motor Vehicles and Lincoln County Assessor; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#21-CONTRACT BETWEEN NV STATE HEALTH DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH & LC

Kevin made a motion to approve and sign the intrastate interlocal contract between Nevada State Health Division Public Health and Clinical Services Community Health Nursing Program and Lincoln County; seconded by Paul M. All voted in favor.

#22-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM

Connie Simkins stated there is an upcoming ECA meeting on June 3-4 in Idaho Falls; travel costs are reimbursed for the two people from LC that attend. Connie has a document written by Dr. Baughman concerning the GAO report. There are several measures in Congress that propose to fund portions for implementation of the Blue Ribbon Commission recommendations but nothing has been brought forward yet. The final webinar for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone took place last week. Dry Lake Valley North in LC is being considered next. An interior BLM committee is being formed to gather existing information about Dry
Lake Valley North. The planning for this area will commence post October 1, 2013. No action was taken.

#23-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM

Connie Simkins presented a proposed contract with the City of Caliente for the LC Nuclear Oversight Program’s renewal of rented office space. Connie commented that she understands that the building in Panaca is slowly being readied and asked if the Board would like her to consider moving towards taking space in the Panaca building. The Panaca building will be phased and isn’t ready yet. $6,624 is the amount of rent paid for the two rooms that the Oversight program is currently using. The contract expires June 30, 2013, and Cory Lytle advised that he doesn’t believe the Panaca building will be ready by then. Paul M. made a motion to approve the contract for one year with Caliente for office space; seconded by Adam. All voted in favor.

#24-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT PROGRAM

Connie Simkins advised that she’s been working with DA Hooge to reword the current contract so it is on an as needed basis. Daniel advised they’ve been working on this for a while, but the last edit didn’t arrive. The last change to Daniel’s agreement is to ensure that whatever activities covered by the contract come to Connie and she will in turn bring them to the Board for consideration. No action was taken on the task based, as-needed contract form for LC Nuclear Oversight Program contractors for FY 201-2014. No action was taken on this item.

#25-NUCLEAR OVERSIGHT

The letter wasn’t completely ready for a vote. No action was taken on this item.

#26-BUDGET AUGMENTATION

Paul M. made a motion to approve the resolution to augment Vehicle Capital Projects in the amount of $877 as the beginning fund balances are larger than anticipated; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#27-NV ENERGY

Mark Sullivan, Linda Bissette, and Mark Severts presented a power point update on the NV Energy ON Line Transmission project. No action was taken on this item as it was informational only.

#28-MULTISPECIES HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN IMPLEMENTATION ACT

Paul D. made a motion to approve the letter to Congressman Horsford expressing support for HR 1744, the Multispecies Habitat Conservation Plan Implementation Act; seconded by Paul M. All voted in favor.

#29-COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

Adam made a motion to approve the request from Holly Gatzke to change the Cooperative Extension cellular phone to a smartphone in her name and for the county to reimburse her on a monthly basis in
the amount of $32.00 as well as pay a one time cost of $60 for a car charger and protection cover; seconded by Kevin. All voted in favor.

#30-COMMISSIONER REPORTS

COMMISSIONER ED HIGBEE went on a tour with BLM to discuss grazing of lands. If BLM cuts the Wilson Creek range there isn’t a person in the state that will be safe; the WC allotment is good. A doctor from SUU has advised there isn’t one single problem with the WC range. Ed met with Congressman Horsford last week. COMMISSIONER KEVIN PHILLIPS attended the open house on the Zephyr transmission line. COMMISIONER PAUL DONOHUE attended a Room Tax & Fair Board meeting as well as went to POOL/PACT meetings. Paul D. also met with Congressman Horsford. The HVAC system in the blue building at LC
Fairgrounds is complete; the building can now be used year-round. Paul D. stated the best thing to do would be to re-do the road to the dump bins at Eagle Valley; RTC funds are available for this project.

#31-BUILDING/PLANNING DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT I

This item concerns the review of applications for Administrative Assistant I position in the Building/Planning Department and the selection from the pool of applicants for the full-time hire. DA Daniel Hooge provided a
history of this item. Initially, Cory asked Daniel about the plausibility of an internal transfer. Daniel gave a recommendation based on the personnel policy. Daniel told Cory that the 14 day requirement for advertisement didn’t apply. Based on that, the Board approved it. A couple of people approached Daniel, and under the Hiring Policy you have to advertise for 14 days and go through some extra procedures. Initially the transfer was for a relative within the third degree on consanguinity. However, if it went forward as a hire, it would be illegal for Cory to hire a relative; the Board would have to do the hiring. If this were a transfer, it is legal and there’s nothing wrong with it. There is a supervision issue under the personnel policy. If this was a hire, there are problems with the law. Daniel stated this issue falls into gray territory so he’s passing the decision and determination to the Board. Is this a hire or transfer? Kevin stated he made the motion on this item. Kevin outlined the history of this item; he considers this to be a transfer. Adam agreed and stated he was also under the impression it was a transfer. Ed agreed as well that it was a transfer. Paul M. voted against the original motion at the time, but the action that passed with the motion should stand. Paul D. said he was under the impression that the supervision issue was a policy issue not NRS but since then he has learned that it is covered under statute. Paul D. wants to make sure we’re following the law with regards to supervision. It may be as simple as saying that Cory isn’t Melissa’s boss and that she is now her own boss. Paul D. commented that it wouldn’t be a problem for Melissa to report directly to the Board. With the clarification of the original motion, Paul M. asked if anything else must be done today. The three people that were in favor of the motion (Kevin, Adam, and Ed) agreed that it was considered a transfer. Daniel stated this issue was hammered out with the Ethics Commission. Daniel advised that the Ethic Commission has been softening the stance on relatives and transfers as we live in NV and there are many small counties. Paul D. referred to NRS 281.210. Paul M. suggested that action be taken on this item, specifically whether it was a transfer or hire. Kevin made a motion to clarify and underscore the record that the action taken is considered to be a transfer from one office to another and not a new hire; seconded by Adam. Paul D. was opposed. Motion carried.

#32-FY 2013-2014 BUDGET

Dan McArthur presented the new figures. The tentative budget has been filed. Dan presented an updated payroll analysis; wages were taken back to 7-1-12. By taking it back to 7-1-12 there is a savings of $10,543.
There is a benefit difference of approximately $100,000. The health insurance is still a factor that drives the problems within the budget itself. As included in the budget, the insurance is based on $900 per employee even though the actual number isn’t known at this time. Dan presented a county analysis to the Board showing what other counties are spending on salaries/benefits. In 2012 the LC budget was $4.2 million. There might be an additional $150,000 that can be included to help get to the required ending fund balance, but as the county moves forward there is the increase in benefits to be considered. It is estimated that 7.2% is the projected carryover for the future. The Department Heads that Dan spoke with feel that their services/supplies is as low as it can be, and agreed that it might be possible to have the employees pay some of their insurance. Comments were made that we might want to go out and get quotes from other insurance companies. Also, it was expressed to Dan that there are some who would like to opt out of the insurance but that isn’t a possibility right now based on contracts. Dan didn’t speak with employees, he spoke with Department Heads as the Board directed him to. The Department Heads were comfortable with rolling wages back but not with layoffs. At the previous meeting, the Board talked about the possibility of requesting the employees to pay some of their coverage. Obama Care prevents the county from asking more than 9.2% of an individual’s wage for reimbursement. Dan ran the numbers to see what it might be if this were the case. In this proposed scenario, everyone would pay a percentage towards their health care. If the 9.2% were applied to the lowest paid employee, then the highest amount the county could levy against employees would be $1,022 per year, divided over twelve months. If this was done, it would generate an additional $92,000 in savings. The options to consider are percent of salary versus a fixed amount per employee. Both net significant savings. The consensus received from the Department Heads was that Dan should look at the health insurance, give the employees a number, and see if we can opt out. Paul D. asked if it is possible to ask an employee to pay a portion of the retirement package. Dan responded that he doesn’t believe this can be done; it is nonnegotiable. Paul D. stated the only thing the county really has to negotiate is insurance. The two remedies are to search out a new plan or pass the cost on to the employees. Paul D. said we don’t want to get a cheap plan that doesn’t offer very good coverage. Paul M. advised he’s had two companies approach him during the last year that would like to present a bid for insurance coverage. Some of the complications include that Teamsters isn’t just insurance to the county, they also have bargaining units. If the insurance package is removed the whole thing will have to be restructured. Theoretically it could be split and Teamsters could just represent their members. Paul D. stated there is a third choice; the Board could say “we will pay X dollars and anything above that you will pay”. The reason Teamsters makes us sign the agreement is that it pools the risk. One of the items discussed by the Department Heads is that if employees are going to be made to pay the county should go shop insurance first or provide the opportunity to opt out. There was some discussion about what will be lost if Teamsters is eliminated. The negotiating point with the Teamsters would be the amount that the county can afford. At $135,000, with 90 employees, it is $1,500 per employee per year, or $125 per month. Elaine suggested that the playing field should be leveled first; they should start out by having everyone pay for their dependents. Adam agreed with that. Leslie reminded the Board that this is all part of negotiations. Leslie said the two bargaining units that are affected by paying their dependents are the Clerical Unit and the Road Department Unit. Adam suggested that the Board talk to the Teamsters concerning the disproportionate share that is laid on the employee alone; shouldn’t it be $300 for the employee and $600 for the dependents. More work needs to be done on the insurance issues and questions. Projected ending fund balance is approximately $415,000. The target when we left the last meeting was $500,000 but the health insurance continues to be the unanswered question. How will we deal with it? Will we add health insurance contributions based on 9.2% of lowest paid
individuals or will we add health insurance contributions based on 9.2% of individual wages? Dan didn’t speak to individual employees concerning not laying people off; he spoke with Department Heads, who aren’t in favor of layoffs. Paul D. responded that the bargaining units may have a different approach; they might say lay three people off and give the others raises. Everyone knows the revenue sources for the county have declined. Based on what has been presented, the increase in insurance will be paid for by the savings produced from the taxes of the museum and library as well as the $7,000 removed for flood control; this funding is a one-time shot. The Board agreed to seek quotes from other insurance companies. Daniel advised that the Board can negotiate the insurance out; everything is up for negotiations. Melanie said the lack of response from the Teamsters is called not negotiating in good faith; if they keep denying meetings and skirting the issues it is not negotiating in good faith. The Board has set several meeting dates and Teamsters has cancelled every time. Melanie asked what will happen if the insurance turns out to be $1,500 per month as opposed to the lowball figure of $900. Paul M. responded that the Board will then have to look for large chunks of money at that point or face layoffs. Paul M. asked if the Board was willing to set the minimum balance at $415,000 and do the very best they can during negotiations with regards to insurance. The next budget hearing will take place on 5-20, same time as the public hearing. No action was taken.

#33-PUBLIC COMMENT

Ed called for public comment. None offered.

#34-ADJOURN

There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ed adjourned the meeting at 3:33 p.m.

Attest:_______________________________Approve:_____________________________


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